Entergy Mississippi recently completed a $37-million transmission upgrade that will improve service reliability to customers in the Flowers area of Warren County. The project involved the installation of transmission breakers on the Beech Grove-Yazoo City-North Vicksburg 115kv circuit. It began in November 2020 and is now in service.
Highlights of the project include:
- constructing new and rebuilding portions of transmission lines using steel structures, upgraded conductor and fiber communications;
- constructing new and rebuilding portions of distribution lines using standard structures and upgraded conductor;
- expanding capacity at the Flowers substation from 8 MW to 50 MW and upgrading it, including hardening it against animal intrusions, and
- rebuilding the river crossing at Big Black River.
“The Flowers Reliability Improvement Project continues to demonstrate Entergy Mississippi’s commitment to placing new capital projects in service to support the needs of our customers,” said Haley Fisackerly, Entergy Mississippi president and CEO. “Between 2018 and 2020, Entergy Mississippi placed more than $416 million in new transmission capital projects in service.
“In 2021, we plan to invest $120 million to continue to upgrade and modernize our transmission system.”
The transmission circuit serves about 4,000 Warren County customers along 58 miles of transmission line. These customers include seven companies in the Ceres Industrial Park that employ some 1,000 people.
“The Ceres Industrial Park, which is served from Entergy’s Flowers’ substation, now has three independent transmission sources, so our customers there should see a dramatic increase in reliability,” said Ed Gardner, Entergy Mississippi director of business and economic development. “Reliability of electric service is key to industry locating in an area.”
“Ceres is also home to three Entergy Qualified Sites,” he added. “This investment in reliability will increase our ability to market, locate and grow companies in the park.”
Decreased outages not only cut down on the downtime industrial customers experience but also on the significant time it takes to restart heavy machinery and bring employees back on the job. Outages can also cause sensitive industrial equipment to fail, creating more down time and financial costs while the equipment is repaired or replaced.
The Flowers project complements another major transmission project that went into service in March. The $31-million Mill Street substation provides a strong, new source into the city of Jackson and allows Entergy to support economic growth and continue to provide reliable service at reasonable prices. The substation and supporting infrastructure upgrades provide an extra source of power into Jackson and supports the expanding Fondren community and Jackson medical corridor, including UMMC and Children’s Hospital.